The Ghana Tourism Authority is hopeful that the Tetteh Quarshie cocoa farm will become one of the best tourist sites in a few years to come.
The Authority believes the current development being done on Ghana’s first cocoa farm will help attract more tourists and investors to grow the awareness and consumption of Ghana’s cocoa.
The CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, spoke to Citi Business News on the sidelines of the opening of the Chocolate City as part of the National Chocolate Week celebrations.
“Last year, we started off with building a cocoa museum there. We are going to improve upon that. And now we’ve seen that there are more experiential tourism growing and so, we intend to create the whole value chain. So when you visit the place, you will see the farm, the pod, and how cocoa products are made throughout the value chain.”
“And we’re also in discussion with the Ministry of Information to look at instituting a cocoa or chocolate festival at the mountains to also drive people there. By next year, I’m very sure that the Tetteh Quarshie cocoa farm will be one of the best tourist attractions in Ghana.”
In 1878, Tetteh Quarshie, a Ghanaian blacksmith, brought cocoa beans to Ghana from the Fernando Po Islands (now called Isla de Bioko). A year after, he successfully planted the first cocoa trees on a farm in Akuapem- Mampong.
For 140 years, cocoa has remained the backbone of the Ghanaian economy, employing approximately 800,000 farm families and generating US$2 billion annually through foreign exchange of export crops.
Over 60% of cocoa produced globally originates from West Africa, with Ghana recognised as one of the world’s largest producers, second only to Côte d’Ivoire.
Despite Ghana’s strong standing as a leader in the cocoa value chain production, the country, unfortunately, has for years now struggled to hit its cocoa export sales targets, due to problems like the emergence of the swollen shoot disease, failure to settle the remuneration of farmers, and intense competition from other countries.
The government has pledged over the years to process more cocoa locally so the country earns more revenue but the Ghana Tourism Authority is exploring other ways to ensure that Ghana reaps more from cocoa production by developing cocoa tourism.
With the construction of a cocoa museum at Ghana’s first cocoa farm; the Tetteh Quarshie cocoa farm, the Authority believes the awareness and consumption of cocoa and its products among foreigners will increase.